Pumpkin Pecan Pudding Cake

Excuse any typos in this post. I'm eating perhaps one of the tastiest, gooiest, and BOOZIEST cakes I've ever had in my life. Seriously, I think I might be buzzed after one slice! If you're looking for a great holiday dessert that will have people raving (and possibly a little tipsy), look no further than this recipe. In fact, most people probably won't even believe it's vegan!

Although this recipe is pretty easy to make, it does take at least a couple days to prepare it, so plan ahead. Most of the time-consuming parts of this recipe are macerating the raisins, baking time, and letting the cake chill overnight.

The raisins can be soaked overnight in the brandy, but I only soaked mine for about two hours and they were fine. Baking time probably differs for each oven (and unfortunately, I lost track of time after the first initial hour), but total baking time for me was anywhere from 1:15 to 1:30 hours. After an hour, check it every 10-15 minutes or so by making sure the center is no longer jiggly. However, I wouldn't worry about this cake burning, as the ingredients don't really allow for it.

The cake must be brought to room temperature (about 3-4 hours) before refrigerating it overnight. To serve it, rewarm it for a few minutes in the oven so it easily slides out of the pan.

This is VERY similar to rum cake. There's not a ton of pumpkin flavor (I think it just adds to the texture), but there certainly is LOTS of apple brandy flavor! It's strange how alcohol in baked goods acts: one bite is teeeming with it, enough to think you've just taken a shot; the next bite has none, and here you can taste the pumpkin and spices. Tricky thing, that alcohol.

The texture of this cake is probably what surprised me the most. It's thick and dense, ooey gooey, and super sticky. In fact, it's not very "cakey" at all, and is more like a non-eggy bread pudding. The raisins are plump and juicy, and there's just the right amount of itty-bitty pecan pieces. It's not even overly rich, thanks to the lack of dairy, but it is definitely a solid dessert, one that would go great with a hot cup of coffee. The alcohol in the cake warms you up inside (isn't this just perfect for a fall dessert?), and the warm cinnamon adds to that. Interestingly enough, there is also a bit of a cooling sensation from the cloves.

This can be served warm, at room temperature, or even slightly chilled. While pairing a slice with a hot beverage is one serving suggestion, I think a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be wonderful as well. And hey, any dish that combines dessert and booze is all right by me.

Pumpkin Pecan Pudding Cake
(adapted from , 11/1/06)

  • 8 ounces dark or golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup apple brandy, such as Calvados
  • 12 ounces canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 8 ounces chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup vanilla soy milk
Place raisins and brandy in a small bowl for at least 1 hour (or overnight) at room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a large nonstick Bundt pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract, mixing until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and fold to combine. Add pecans, soy milk, and raisins and their brandy to the batter, stirring well to combine. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for one hour, until the cake is nicely browned and springs back to the touch. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack until it comes to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate the cake (still in the pan) for several hours or overnight. To serve, place the cake in a 250-degree oven for a few minutes to loosen it from the pan, then invert onto a serving plate. Serves 10-12.


  1. Yor cake looks amazing and it's a great way to use up some of the Apple Brandy I have. Thanks!

  2. this looks amazing omgggg do you think I could use bourbon?

  3. Bourbon? Why not?!

  4. yummmmmmm.. the texture looks so melt in your mouth gooey.. this one is right in time for some holiday baking! absolutely gorgeous!

    Richa @

  5. Anonymous11/9/11, 2:43 AM

    looks so nice! do you think i could substitute canned pumpkin to cooked pumpkin in same weight, and also substitute the apple brandy to apple juice ? thanks

  6. The recipe actually uses canned pumpkin, so you're covered there! And yes, I'm sure you can use apple juice instead (of course there won't be any boozy flavor), but I'd suggest maybe heating it first before you add the raisins so they will plump and soak up the juice. Have fun!

  7. Yowza! Gotta try this one. I'm substituting Whiskey for the brandy....and maybe tossing in a few craisin as well. Cheers! ;)

  8. I made this for Christmas and everyone loved it! There was a lot of food and tons of desserts, but this one went quickly! I plan to make it more often and have it printed and saved to my favorite recipe file!

  9. Wow - this looks awesome! Too bad I didn't have the recipe for the holidays, but hey - what's wrong with having pumpkin now?? :)

  10. OliviaRose11/24/12, 2:38 PM

    I had to write in and tell you that we absolutely loved this cake! It was so moist and delicious! I drizzled a little vegan cream cheese icing over the top. I seriously could not stop eating this. Thanks so much!!

    1. Glad you liked! The cream cheese icing sounds awesome